UCSB Hosts No. 1 UC Irvine in Final Home Series of the Year

UCSB Hosts No. 1 UC Irvine in Final Home Series of the Year

May 21, 2009

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• The Schedule
Friday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m.
UCSB (28-21, 10-11) vs. No. 1 UC Irvine (41-12, 20-1) at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Series record vs. the Anteaters - (37-40)
2008 season record vs. the Anteaters - (1-2)
All games broadcast live on KCSB 91.9 FM
Games available online through Gametracker
Streaming video available through bigwest.tv

• Coming Up
Top-ranked UC Irvine will be UCSB's opponent in the final weekend of the regular season, the first time since May 11-13, 2001 that the Gauchos have played a No. 1 team. That year it was Cal State Fullerton and UCSB took two of three from the Titans at Goodwin Field.

• Weekend Promotions
On Friday UCSB will host Diabetes Awareness Day and honor catcher Doug Hansen, who has type 1 diabetes (to read more about Hansen, click here), along with a UCSB research team that developed an artifical pancreas for diabetics. Six-year-old T-ball player Kyle DeSchryver from Arroyo Grande, who also has diabetes, will throw out the first pitch to Hansen. Also on Friday, the first 50 UCSB students to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for the 2 p.m. game will receive coupons for a free Chipotle burrito. Friday is also a Faculty Free Friday and all UCSB faculty and staff will receive free admission to the game by showing their UCSB ID card. On Saturday the first 100 fans with paid admission will receive a free UCSB beach towel for the 1 p.m. game while the first 50 fans regardless of paid admission or not, will receive coupons for free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Sunday's 1 p.m. game will provide the first 100 students with free Domino's pizza and all fans in attendance will receive free UCSB foam fingers. Also, Sunday is a Kids to College game and all youth eighth grade and under will be admitted free. For more information on all the great promotions, please click here.

• Viva Valaika
Matt Valaika is currently riding a nine-game hit streak, the best active streak on the team. The junior leads the Gauchos with 12 multi-RBI games and is tied for second on the team with 16 multi-hit games. Over his nine-game hitting streak, Valaika is batting .484 (15-for-31) with 10 RBI and eight runs scored. The Valencia, Calif. native has recorded a hit in 18 of his past 19 starts. Valaika leads the team with his .347 average and .541 slugging percentage, while his 43 RBI are second.

• Captain E.O.
First baseman Eric Oliver leads the team with 46 RBI, tying him for sixth in the Big West. The senior has 10 multi-RBI games this season, which is second on the team and his 21 multi-hit games this year top the Gauchos. Oliver has at least one hit in 14 of his past 16 games and is the only Gaucho to start all 49 games. Only five times this season has Oliver either failed to reach base, score a run or have an RBI. The Irvine, Calif. native also leads the team with a .410 average, .511 on-base percentage and .692 slugging percentage in Big West games while his 19 RBI during conference games is also a team-best.

• Hey Joe
Joe Gardner's last start was cut short due to a strained right oblique (leaving his availability this weekend in question) but the junior still leads UCSB's pitching staff in all the important categories. At 7-1 he has the most wins and his 3.40 ERA is the team's best and ranks sixth in the Big West. Gardner's 84.2 innings pitched is seventh in the conference while his 69 strikeouts rank fourth in the Big West. He has held opponents to a .252 batting average, sixth-best in the conference. The Gauchos are 10-3 in games that Gardner starts.

• Thirtysomething
At 28-21, UCSB is just two victories away from the 30-win mark. Should the Gauchos win this weekend's series, it will mark the first consecutive 30-win seasons since 1991-92. By notching 28 wins already, UCSB has won at least 25 games for the 11th time in Head Coach Bob Brontsema's 16 seasons.

• Pursuit of Perfection
The Gauchos are a perfect 16-0 when scoring nine or more runs in a game. When scoring more than 10 runs in a game, UCSB is 12-0.

• Mullins It Over
Junior catcher Marty Mullins is batting .367 in Big West games, which is second on the team to Eric Oliver's .410 mark. The Los Gatos, Calif. native has thrown out 18 of 46 would-be base-stealers this season.

• Captain Cav-man
Infielder Ryan Cavan has a keen eye - his 31 walks lead the Big West and have helped boost his team-leading .432 on-base percentage, which is 10th in the conference. Cavan is second among the Gauchos with his .333 batting average and his 16 multi-hit games are tied for second on the squad. The Belmont, Calif. native has scored 16 runs in Big West play, tied for third on the team.

• UCSB Quick Fact
Eric Oliver has a team-best 19 doubles this season, tying him for 10th all-time in UCSB single-season history. The record is 24, set by Jeff Antoon in 1990.

• Not Bubba ... It's Brian Gump
Only once in his 48 starts has Brian Gump failed to reach base or record an RBI. Currently the Westminster, Calif. native is tied for third in the Big West with 56 runs scored - including a team-high 22 runs scored in Big West games - while his 20 stolen bases are fourth in the conference. Gump has 52 stolen bases in his career, which is sixth all-time in school history.

• Samuels Is Striking
Zach Samuels tied his career-high by pitching six innings in Sunday's win over UC Riverside. The senior right-hander is 3-2 with a 5.23 ERA, fifth lowest on the team. Samuels has struck out 46 batters, which is tied with Mario Hollands for second on the team.

• Effective Edwards
Reliever Clayton Edwards has made the most appearances of any Gaucho during Big West play (8) and also has the lowest ERA of any UCSB pitcher during conference play (3.77).

• Wear It
UCSB's pitching staff leads the Big West with 85 hit batters and four Gaucho pitchers are in the conference top-10 in hit batsmen - Joe Gardner, Clayton Edwards, Mike Ford, Mario Hollands and Jesse Meaux.

• RPI Report
UCSB's RPI - Ratings Percentage Index - is 88 as of May 18. UC Irvine's is 18.

• Weeks In Review
UCSB's record by day of the week - 1-1 on Monday; 2-3 on Tuesday; 3-0 on Wednesday; 1-0 on Thursday; 6-4 on Friday; 8-6 on Saturday; and 7-7 on Sundays.

• Monster Mashers
UCSB's .470 slugging percentage is third in the Big West while the Gauchos' 175 extra-base hits are second in the conference to Cal Poly's 194. The Gauchos lead the conference in triples (18), are third in home runs (47) and rank fourth in doubles (110).

• Score First = Win
It seems like a simple formula that when you score first, you win. When UCSB scores in the first inning, they are 14-5. When the Gauchos score first in any game, they are 19-5.

• Run Amok
UCSB's 364 runs are fourth in the Big West and the team is averaging 7.4 runs per game.

Probable Starting Lineup

Batting No. Name Pos. Yr. 2009 Notes
1. 5 Gunnar Terhune LF Jr. 10 stolen bases tied for 2nd on team
2. 16 Brian Gump CF Sr. His 56 runs runs rank third in Big West
3. 21 Eric Oliver 1B Sr. Leads team .410 average in Big West
4. 4 Ryan Cavan 3B Jr. Team-leading .432 OBP
5. 8 Matt Valaika 2B Jr. Hitting .484 during 9-game hit streak
6. 7 John DeAlba LF Sr. Hitting .333 with 12 RBI in BW games
7. 26 Marty Mullins C Jr. .367 avg in Big West games - 2nd on team
8. 22 Shane Carlson SS Sr. 15 RBI in Big West games - 3rd on team
9. 25 Mark Haddow RF So. Hitting .304 in 17 Big West games

Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday 12 Mike Ford RHP Jr. Will be making first start since 5/3
Saturday 11 Mario Hollands LHP So. His 82.1 innings pitched is 10th in BW
Sunday 23 Zach Samuels RHP Sr. 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER last Sunday vs. UCR

• The Bob Brontsema File
The 2009 season marks the 28th year of Head Coach Bob Brontsema's involvement with the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. With two years as a player, 10 as an assistant coach and now entering his 16th season at the helm, Brontsema has been involved in 830 Gaucho victories, far more than anyone in UCSB baseball history. In fact, he has participated in over 60 percent of all UCSB victories in school history. Entering this year, Brontsema ranks second in career wins, third in overall career winning percentage and third in career conference winning percentage. He also holds the record for most Division I wins in school history. His 16 years as Gaucho head coach give him the second longest tenure in UCSB baseball history, behind Dave Gorrie with 18 years. The dean of Big West coaches, he currently ranks first in Big West career wins amongst active Big West coaches and No. 1 in overall wins. In career conference wins, only five individuals throughout the history of the Big West surpass Brontsema.

• Parking is Easy!
Getting to UCSB baseball games is easy! From Highway 217, veer right at Steck Circle onto Mesa Road, and take a left onto Stadium Road. Caesar Uyesaka Stadium is on your left, and you can park at Lot 30 which is right outside the stadium. There are two kiosks that accept cash and credit card to pay for parking.

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."